The German national team will face Argentina in an international friendly in Dortmund on Wednesday (20:45 CEST). Head coach Joachim Löw speaks before the game about the many absentees and the possible starting XI. Marc-André ter Stegen and Julian Brandt were put before the microphones at the German football museum.
…the possible starting XI against Argentina: The personnel situation is as follows: Robin Koch and Sebastian Rudy have been called-up to the squad. We’re expecting to have Timo Werner back on Wednesday. His cold has improved a lot but he won’t be available tomorrow evening. He’s in our plans for Thursday. Jonathan Tah is also likely to be out with a cold and won’t take part in training today. We will have to do without Ilkay Gündogan as well; he has a slight muscular injury. Marco Reus is struggling with a knee problem but to my knowledge it’s nothing serious. After our final training session we will see if he is ready for the game tomorrow. Niklas Stark will be in the starting XI; I made this decision a while ago. He has shown in his performances for Hertha that he is a solid, reliable performer. Furthermore, he likes to be vocal on the pitch and organizes the defence well, which is something I really like in a player. He will definitely start the game. I’m also planning to start Luca Waldschmidt. Other than that, I will make my decision after watching the team train.
…their injury woes: It’s an unfortunate situation; we have lots of players missing. Because of this, it’s difficult to have high expectations of the team as far as the performance goes. But what you can expect, is the players to take their opportunity and to give 100% effort.
…the lack of experience: When you try to initiate a change in the team, you know that it’s going to take some time for things to start to click. The national team is different to a club team. We have very little time together to work on our tactics. Playing matches is very important. The previous team had been playing together for a number of years. The situation we’re in, having so many injuries, is something we really didn’t want to happen; it makes our preparation for next summer’s tournament a lot more difficult. I hope that we’ll have a few more players available again in November. Back in March we got the feeling that the team was starting to gel together, but our progress has been disrupted since the summer.
…Sebastian Rudy’s call-up: Sebastian has started every game for Hoffenheim so far this season and he’s in great form. He also suits our system really well. Rudy is an experienced player and he’s very composed on the ball – that was important for me as we have such a young team.
…Robin Koch: Robin Koch can play anywhere across the defence or even at #6 if he is needed there. He has been very solid for Freiburg this season. He played for the national youth teams as is now in great form, as well as being a very versatile player who can play two or three positions – that was an important attribute for me.
…his memories of previous matches against Argentina: We had a very emotional game against them in the 2006 World Cup, winning on penalties. 2010 was definitely our best match against Argentina; we completely dominated the game and it was a convincing victory.
…players being overplayed: All we can do is be careful. You have to push your limits if you want to be successful. But there shouldn’t be any more competitions now; it would be detrimental for their quality. The players are currently at their physical limits so we need to be careful. The people in charge need to look towards the future of football.
…the competition in goal: There’s no problem between the two goalkeepers; they have complete respect for each other. Marc wants to prove that he plays at a level just as high as Manu. He is completely reliable and a top keeper.
…the Argentina game: I don’t feel as if I’m under pressure. I want to go out there and give it my all as I always do. We want to show the best version of ourselves we can. I think that despite the players we have out at the moment, we still have plenty of quality out on the pitch. It’s a chance for everybody to show what they can do – I’m in the same boat.
…his excitement: I’m really excited about the game and what’s to come. Everyone’s looking forward to it. It will be a fantastic game and we all want to be out on the pitch to enjoy it. Argentina are a good side.
...the competition in goal: Everyone wants to play, it’s the same in every position. The most important thing for me is to play well out on the pitch. I will give my all to be number one, it’s always been a personal goal of mine. But again it’s the same for everyone – we all have the same goal of having a successful tournament. Manuel and I are being perfectly professional about the situation, we have a great relationship with one another. I want to make the decision as hard as possible for the coach and if he needs me, I’m there.
…the Argentina game: It’s a complicated situation at the minute because we have so many people out with injury. What everyone can expect from us though, is a huge effort. You don’t have to have played with each other all the time for that to happen. It won’t be perfect, that’s for sure but mistakes are part of being a team. We will all try our best and hopefully we’ll come out on top.
…this young German team: We’re trying to start a new chapter with this team. We’ll need a bit of time to adjust of course, but we’re on the right track for sure, this team can perform at an incredibly high level and I’m sure we’ll be winning plenty in the not too distant future.